Students Receiving Subsidized School Lunch Achieved Significant Reading Proficiency Growth

Purpose of Study:

This report describes the progress achieved by Reading Plus students in grades 2 through 12 who received free or reduced-price meals at school through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) during the 2018-2019 school year. These are students from households with incomes at or below 18.5 percent of the poverty line. Data are reported for all students in this category who completed the InSight silent reading assessment on at least two occasions, once near the start of the school year and again during the spring, so that growth over the school year was measured.

Study Design:

These results show that students receiving free or reduced-price meals at school who engaged in Reading Plus instruction over the course of the 2018-2019 school year significantly increased their capacity to comprehend more complex texts, developed their capacity to understand higher levels of general academic vocabulary, and improved their reading efficiency. Students who completed more Reading Plus practice achieved larger gains than their peers who engaged in little or no Reading Plus instruction. These results replicate previous studies documenting the effectiveness of using Reading Plus with lower-income students. These results also show that students who engaged in more Reading Plus instruction generally increased their reading confidence and their interest in reading.